Open Door Policy with China Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan contains activities, key terms, a quiz, and discussion topics and questions that will help students better appreciate the concept of the Open Door Policy with China.

Learning Objectives

Once students have finished this lesson, they should be able to:

  • Identify the major powers involved with the Open Door Policy
  • Understand how the Open Door Policy affected China


30-60 minutes without the activity


Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Homework & Notes

Warm Up

  • Ask students if they have any questions from the video they saw prior to coming to class
  • Then, ask them the following questions as a warm-up:
    • What was the Open Door Policy?
    • What is a Sphere of Influence?

Vocabulary Activity

  • Place the following terms up on the class board in one row:
    • Open Door Policy
    • Age of Imperialism
    • Spheres of Influence
    • John Hay
    • 'Open Door Note'
    • Righteous and Harmonious Fists
    • Boxer Rebellion
  • Split the class so that there is a similar number of students per term.
  • Each group should come up to the board and take 3 minutes to come to a consensus definition for their term. They should write their definition below the term.
  • After the 3 minutes are up, rotate so that each group goes to a new term. They should:
    • Double check the definition up on the board and add to/omit from as they see fit.
    • If they believe the definition is completely correct and comprehensive they should either give an example of the definition (e.g., for sphere of influences) or draw an image representing the term/definition (e.g., an illustration of the Boxer Rebellion).
  • Once each group has made it past every term check the definitions and examples for accuracy
  • Everyone should copy down the terms, definitions, and examples into their notebooks

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